airframe component scores; it stands alone. If a builder were to produce
a “perfectly crafted” model scoring “ 10” in the three airframe areas but
the completed package still appeared to be more model than replica, the
realism score would likely reflect that lack of realism.
Each model is judged independently according the same rules, and in
the end, the scores always tell the story. No specific type or period of
model has an advantage in the static-judging phase; some have distinct
advantages when it comes to flying, but even then, the flying scores can
differ by mere fractions of points. If everything goes well, you fly the
best you ever have, your building/finishing abilities are recognized and
rewarded, and there’s good karma in the air, you win. It’s that simple, and
anyone can win on a given day. Anyone who thinks it isn’t that important
to “sweat the details” is better off declining the coveted invitation and
participate as a spectator.
There are so many outstanding examples of skills, both building and
flying, at Top Gun that it would be impossible to describe all of them.
That’s why we’re showing you so many pictures with additional images
I’m not sure of where it can all go from here, but I will say that,
based on my chats with a number of competitors, next year’s
30th-anniversary edition might just showcase some of the best scale
RC models ever. It is an exciting, inspiring event that can’t help getting
you pumped up for more. Join us in 2018! J
7 8 9
1. At Top Gun, some of the classes are scrutinized this “up close and personal.”
Here, I’m checking Phil Koury’s F4F Wildcat under the magnifying glass.
2. Remarkable effort went into Lance Campbell’s outstanding SR-71, including
pilot detail. 3. Team Monaco nailed the surface detail on their F4F Wildcat entry—
excellent panel detail and weathering. 4. Some of the exquisite surface detail on
“Mr. Top Gun” Jack Diaz’s Fouga. This is what it takes to win! 5. Functioning auxiliary inlet louvers on Scott Harris’s Yak 130 require much skill and patience. 6. The
“business end” of Ralph Esposito’s Jug. The actual engine is very well disguised.
7. The APU exhaust fan on Randy Clark’s Yak 130—very consistent weathering.
8. Pilot figure in the Team Meister Mitsubishi Type “0” may have cost 1/4 point;
I don’t think filtered cigarettes were available in the early 1940s! 9. This is what
the casual spectator doesn’t get a chance to see: the outstanding interior work
on the Bob Gonzalez/Sean Curry Team entry Cessna 421C.